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Mobile Shopping Apps To Inspire You

August 26th, 2015

If you have an ecommerce site you should consider creating a mobile shopping app to boost sales. Mobile shopping apps are fast growing in this world of smartphones and tablets. In an article from Epic Ecommerce, they list some of the top shopping apps that really do it right. They are all good examples of easy navigation, smart design, and social interaction. Check them out.

mobile shopping appTopHatter – This is a live auction shopping app. Users bid on or post items for sale. The site design is fun and full of pictures.

Modcloth – Their mobile shopping app is just as exciting as their online shopping website. Users can access a “Fit for Me” option that allows them to enter their measurements to find the perfect fit. They also have a style gallery where users post pics of themselves in their latest ModCloth finds.

Polyvore – This app is designed to be your personal shopper. You enter in your taste fashion and design and it will recommend items from home décor to clothing.

Etsy – Their mobile app is just as great as their shopping website as well. The app has great graphics and is easy to navigate.

Read more about these apps and see screenshots of the mobile sites here: Mobile Shopping Apps with Designs That Inspire.

How To Get Guest Bloggers

August 13th, 2015

Computer problemIf you have a blog for your business, you know that constantly creating new content can be tiring and time consuming. Having guest bloggers write content for your blog is a great way to bring fresh content and a fresh voice. Here are some ways that you can get guest bloggers.

One way is to grow your readership. In order to entice guest bloggers, you need to show that readers are excited to read the content on your blog. Guest bloggers want to reach as many readers as possible, so the bigger the blogger, the bigger audience they will require.

Another way to get guest bloggers is to offer incentives. You can offer to include a link to their blog or website as a good incentive. You can also advertise for guest bloggers. If you place a tab on your blog saying “write for us” this will let bloggers know that you are looking for guests.

If you have a more established blog, you can start a writing competition to choose a guest blogger for your site. Let those that want to participate in the competition know that this is a great way for them to reach a larger audience.

Lastly, be sure that your blog is constantly updated. No one will want to write for a blog that hasn’t had any new content in months. Be sure that you have good relationships and friends online. Reaching out on social media is a great way to track down an expert to be a guest blogger for you.

7 Ways To Find Guest Bloggers|Epic Ecommerce

26 Things To Do To Grow Your Business

August 4th, 2015

businessIf you own a business you know that it is not always easy to keep it going and growing. In an article from Epic Ecommerce, they list 26 things you should continually be doing to grow your business.

  1. Social Media. Social media is the main way that people of many demographics communicate. You need to take it seriously if you want to have a successful business.
  2. Blogs. In addition to the first thing, blogs should also be taken seriously. Blogs influence opinions, a place to post news and get millions of views.
  3. Promotions and new products. You would be surprised how far a promotion, such as a Christmas promotion, can take you.
  4. Third party verification. Things such as testimonials, comments, trust seals, “likes” are one of the best ways to get people to trust you and like you. Validation is everything nowadays because your success is visible to everyone.

Read the complete list of 26 Things To Do To Grow Your Business here: Size Doesn’t Matter: 26 Things You Must Do To Continually Grow Your Business Or Blog.

Explainer Video

July 29th, 2015

An explainer video is a video that explains who or what your company is and what products or services you offer. Explainer videos are a must for any website, but especially if you have a new company or if your product or service isn’t easy to understand.

So how do you make an explainer video? That’s up to you. But if you need some ideas, check out the post from EpicEcommerce.com here: 5 Awesome Explainer Videos to Spark Inspiration|EpicEcommerce.

They offer some great examples of explainer videos that are animated, to the point, funny and creative. Check them out and texplainer videohen get started making your video!

10 Things You Should Be Doing For SEO

July 22nd, 2015

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, in a nutshell, how you write content, posts, updates, etc. to make it easy for search engines to find you. This is important because if a search engine can find you, every time someone searches for content that is relevant to your site or business, your link will come up and more customers will come your way. Here are 10 basic things you should be doing for SEO.

  1. Keep track with tools like Alexa and Google Toolbar that all you to monitor your stats.
    2. Use keywords. Your keywords should be in your content, titles, posts you make on Facebook or other social media, in hashtags and in your website design. Use keywords in every post, but don’t go overboard.
    3. Link back to yourself. When you are writing new content for your site, link back to your older content.
    4. Create a sitemap. A sitemap is a page of links to all the major content on your site. This makes it easier for people to find your content.
    5. Make sure your URLs explain your content well.
    6. Use simple coding. Flash is cool, but not so good for SEO.
    7. Add captions to your images.
    8. Add amazing content. Your content should be updated, fresh and interesting.
    9. Social media. Be sure to spread relevant links to your company blog on sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is very important to SEO.
    10. Link to other sites.

The Everything Guide To ECommerce Marketing And Increasing Sales | EpicEcommerce

You Need Trust Seals For Your Online Business

July 14th, 2015

trust sealsIf you own a business and are looking for ways to increase security on your site, you need get trust seals. Trust seals will not only help security but will increase conversions. Trust seals are important for e-commerce sites. Customers want to know that they are safe when shopping on your site. But with all the options for trust seals (aka site seals, trust logos, and trust badges), how do you know what is best for your site?

Here are three things to think about before you buy a trust seal:

What does the trust seal do, according to the company? Does it come with security scanning, or is it just a logo to add to your site? Some seals verify that your business is a real business but don’t do anything to protect your site. Be sure you know what you are paying for is what you are actually getting.

What does the trust seal tell your customers? Studies have shown that customers want to see a trust seal on the site they are shopping on and many may not buy from a site that doesn’t have one. Is your trust seal telling your customers that they can trust your site? And that it is free of vulnerabilities?

Does a trust seal mean that your site is secure? As mentioned above, some seals simply prove that you’re a real company, while others actually check the site for vulnerabilities. If shoppers think that your seal is just a logo for appearance, they may not want to buy from you. Be sure that your seal is up to date and scanning your site for vulnerabilities.

Can You Trust a Trust Seal? 3 Ways to Know You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth|EpicEcommerce

Knowing Your History

June 24th, 2013

Website Conversion Part 4

As a young teenager in my first wood shop class, I learned that constructing any project required a plan. We spent the first several weeks of the term drawing shapes and then designing our first projects. Every plan started with a single line on a paper and that first line had a specific starting point and end point. If I positioned the ruler to touch both points, the line would add strength to the plan, all other methods resulted in extra work or starting over. Another aspect of successful website conversion is taking the time to connect your past efforts to the present situation and your current position with your end-state goals.

It is important to evaluate, to some degree, what you have done in the past to increase conversion. Granted, you ought to have a new definition of conversion at this point but it shouldn’t be too difficult to identify those past strategies which have some application to the new definition. Don’t over analyze the historical data but take time, at least, to dig up a few bulbs before tilling the old garden under. You don’t want to replicate any past mistakes if you can avoid it.

If you don’t have a significant history to glean from, this is a great time to research other companies and methods. It’s always best to stand on the shoulders of giants –learning from their successes and challenges. Spend the effort to understand the companies you study, however. There may be underlying reasons they did or did not benefit from certain strategies. A superficial glance at their activities and performance could be more dangerous than helpful if you plan to follow them. Always keep in mind that your company is unique and any preset plan will need tweaking. Don’t hesitate to create your own hybrid –taking the best from several sources. There’s no such thing as the perfect plan but your strategy can nevertheless be brilliant with a little study and adaptation.

Implementation and Regular Evaluation

June 17th, 2013

Website Conversion Part 3

Whether you think the story of Noah and the Ark is just a great story or a literal part of our history, you will probably agree that he didn’t build that enormous ship all by himself. Now, your website conversion strategy might not be equate-able to Noah’s Ark but it will require buy-in and diligence to make it work. I imagine Noah had real buy-in from all eight passengers. There were many reasons they had to be fully committed, one of which was that all those animals needed regular attention.

Once you’ve implemented your website conversion plan and things are starting to happen, you will need to “tend the animals” at least weekly. Depending on what type of business you run, you might see an immediate increase in conversion or you might not recognize the change until you compare several weeks of data. You’ll probably have to demonstrate that painful blend of attentiveness and patience. Stick to the plan! Try to make adjustments in support of your plan, rather than going back to old ways before the new strategy can start working for you. Be courageous and decisive when adjustments are needed -don’t make changes as a result of impatience. Remember, you put a lot of effort into this process and it is very unlikely that you will come up with a better solution in a moment of doubt. As with Noah, you might experience an increase in rain before you see any evidence that your plan is going to work out.

Next week: How knowing your history can help with conversion.

Defining Website Conversion

June 10th, 2013

Website Conversion Part 2

One of my favorite Olympic track & field events is the relay race. Not only is it a running competition but it’s one of coordination as well. At a specific point the first runner must hold the baton down and to his rear without slowing down. Simultaneously, the fresh runner matches speed and takes the baton as he passes and increases his pace. Without clearly defining that moment at which the transfer takes place, the baton will likely be dropped and the race lost. Website conversion needs to be defined in much the same way if marketing is going to hand things off to the sales team without dropping the prospective customer.

It might seem obvious but unless you have identified what conversion means for your company, you are likely to experience a lot of conflict and confusion. In other words, don’t define conversion as a click on a button for a free wallpaper. This would make your conversion numbers look good but it would not benefit sales. Likewise, don’t define conversion as a time-share purchase. Make the conversion number reflect a customer action that shows real interest but not a sale –your sales numbers will indicate actual purchases. Conversion should be some significant action that is clearly on the pathway to a purchase and it needs to be well-defined so that marketing and sales know where the transfer will take place.

Depending on the structure of your business, you will want to work with key people to make this distinction. In my case, my business only consists of me and my wife. For most, however, this will require more than dinner conversation. You will need to schedule meetings and get honest input from the sales team, upper management and marketing to start with. Sales is important because they will be receiving the raw products of website conversion, “leads”, whether they come in the form of a simple web-form with contact information or a pre-screened customer who expresses an interest and meets inclusion criteria. Sales will have a vested interest in the definition of conversion. Needless to say, management will want input and will provide backing for any execution and/or training needs. Marketing will offer perspective regarding implementation, particularly since they will carry out any new strategies.

You could define conversion on your own but that critical moment will be far more clear and meaningful if key departments have input, comprehension and buy-in. Besides, it’s the coordination of efforts that makes the race so exciting in the end!

Next week: Implementation and Evaluation

Creating a Comprehensive Plan

June 3rd, 2013

Website Conversion

If you fail to plan…well, you know the rest. I’ll confess that in my wood shop class, decades ago, I hated the planning stage and as a result, my projects were simple and they honestly didn’t turn out very well. Some of my friends saw the value in painstakingly drawing out every detail and their projects (bird feeders, balance boards, chess sets, etc.) are probably still in use today. Don’t skimp on planning and again, include the key departments in this critical step. In your first meeting, briefly present a summary of what has been done before, in and out of your company before starting an open-forum discussion. Benchmarking data can save time and keep things focused on plausible solutions. You’ll need focused discussion if you hope to create a detailed plan.

Imagine how much money, time and human life would be wasted if NASA sent manned space craft into the cold, blackness of space without meticulous planning. Most of the problems in space exploration were discovered and resolved on paper long before blastoff. That’s exactly when you want your problems remedied; long before your towering investment dollars and your company’s reputation are on the launch pad. You will also want to make your outcomes measurable so they can be evaluated easily in the first weeks and months. If it weren’t for gauges and warning lights, the Apollo 13 flight crew would not have known their craft was losing power, fuel and oxygen. Knowing early on will enable you to make small adjustments and avoid major losses later. The plan will be the scaffolding upon which you will all climb during the implementation stage –take time to make it strong.

Next week: Why defining website conversion is important.